LIFEBOAT bosses fear lives are at risk after a safety clinic at the Yacht Haven found that condemned and useless life jackets are being used by local sailors.
Largs RNLI spokesman Alasdair Woods today described the results of the tests as 'shocking', with 90 per cent of the lifejackets they inspected declared faulty.
He also described the turnout at the event as 'disappointing', with only 121 lifejackets able to be checked out of a total of around 4,000.
Mr Woods said: "Up to 90 per cent of lifejackets we inspected during the recent exercise at Largs Yacht Haven had some kind of fault, which is incredible.
"From all the boats in the Marina a total only 121 lifejackets were presented for inspection and despite a manufacturer recall condemning two of the jackets presented, they were still in use.
"Seven others were deemed useless, as in an emergency they would have failed to inflate.
"It is a worrying situation.
"People go out on their boats and they don't seem to realise the danger that is lurking, and by the time comes when you are depending on it, the lifejacket is not capable.
"The fact that there was a manufacturing recall, and the lifejackets have been condemned, and some of these lifejackets have been in use is a big concern and shows why it so important to come to our free events."
"The RNLI suggest you have your lifejackets checked on a regular basis as the safety of your crew and their survival in an emergency is your responsibility.
"Don’t risk lives, come and see us."
There are around 800 boats at Largs Yacht Haven and with around five lifejackets per boat, it means 4,000 lifejackets in all.
The Largs and Millport Weekly News is backing the RNLI's campaign for sailors to get their lifejackets checked, with the next clinic taking place at Kip Marina on April 21 and 22.
Mr Woods says he hopes for a better attendance at the next clinic, with kayakers, boat users, and anyone who regularly uses lifejackets welcome.
He said: "Although there was an increase of 30 visitors more than last year the low turnout to this safety at sea event is disappointing.
"We need a better turnout from the public - this is a free service."